INDIANA: Obama is spending three of the next four days in Indiana. Clinton spends the next two days there.
NORTH CAROLINA: John Edwards, you lost the Dem nomination a few months back and you just can't decide whom to endorse... what are you going to do next!?!?! Edwards: "I'm going to Disney World!"
That's right, "Edwards is vacationing at Walt Disney World in Florida this week, fueling speculation that he's not going to endorse either Democratic presidential candidate before the May 6 primary. But then, another vacation turned out differently. In July 2004, Edwards took his family to Disney World for a vacation, leading many to declare he was not John Kerry's vice presidential pick. As it turned out, Edwards had slipped away, catching a flight to Washington to meet with Kerry."
Mike Easley's endorsement of Clinton focused on her outreach to blue-collar voters. "Easley doesn't have a powerful state organization, nor is he a national political figure. But Easley's endorsement of New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton could help the Democratic presidential candidate in her quest for more traditional rural and small-town blue-collar Democrats in North Carolina's primary Tuesday."
"Easley's reputation as a sort of 'Governor Bubba' helped make him the only two-term Democratic governor in the South. Easley was elected to office as a pistol-packing former prosecutor and was re-elected as the governor who crashed a NASCAR race car into the wall during a charity event."
"'Easley probably appeals to more conservative Democrats, to the blue-collar voters that Hillary Clinton has been targeting,' said Steven Greene, an N.C. State University political science professor. 'He strengthens her efforts among those groups.' But Greene said he thought Easley's endorsement would have only a modest effect, noting that public opinion polls suggest that Illinois Sen. Barack Obama has a double-digit lead."
The Raleigh paper covered Obama's appearance at a UNC hoops practice in the sports section. By the way Duke fans, UNC may have violated NCAA rules... "North Carolina's men's basketball team on Tuesday had what a team official called an extraordinary chance to play basketball with presidential candidate Barack Obama. So extraordinary that an NCAA rule appears to have been broken -- and the NCAA is apparently going to ignore it. 'This was a unique situation and not an NCAA issue,' NCAA media relations director Erik Christianson said in an e-mail message to The News & Observer on Tuesday. 'It certainly was a great opportunity for the student-athletes to interact with a presidential candidate.'"
"At issue is the timing of the informal scrimmage and the fact that UNC coach Roy Williams watched it from the sideline. According to NCAA bylaws, coaches are not allowed to watch pickup games at any time during the offseason. Division I basketball teams also are prohibited from any mandatory athletically related offseason activities through final exams. Exams began Monday at UNC. Team spokesman Steve Kirschner said Williams knew he wasn't supposed to be at the Smith Center practice gym under the letter of the NCAA rules, but that these were 'extraordinary circumstances,' and, with the number of Secret Service personnel on site, the coach wanted to be there to make sure that everything went OK."
Meanwhile, speaking of hoops, the AP's Ron Fournier played pick up with the Illinois senator recently and described his game, in part, this way: "Obama is extremely confident with his game, for good reason. He glides more than runs, high and soft on the balls of his feet and with graceful strides that put enough space between himself and his opponents to launch a solid left-handed jump shot. Obama, who usually plays with younger men, says he's a step too fast for most his age." Obama's "signature move: Fake right and drive hard to the left. A political statement? 'Nah,' he said with a wan and sweaty smile, 'I just love to play this game.'" (video)